Inquiry into death of Afghan war vet set for next year

The long-awaited public inquiry into the death of an Afghan war veteran who killed his family and himself in rural Nova Scotia is expected to begin early next year.

When provincial court Judge Warren Zimmer was appointed to lead the inquiry in July, it was expected hearings would start later in the year.

But Jennifer Stairs, a spokeswoman for the judiciary, now says renovations to a satellite courtroom in Guysborough, Nova Scotia, are expected to be completed by the end of this month.

She says crews are working on the hearing room and hooking up recording equipment for video conferencing and live-streaming capabilities.

Lionel Desmond, who was diagnosed with PTSD after serving two tours in Afghanistan in 2007, fatally shot himself and his mother, wife and 10-year-old daughter in their rural home in Upper Big Tracadie on January 3th, 2017.

Among other things, the inquiry will examine whether Desmond had access to mental health and domestic violence services, and whether he should have been able to buy a gun.